Absinthe, one of the most mysterious and misunderstood spirits often nicknamed Green Fairy or La Fée Verte due to its emerald green color. Talking of color, some absinthes can be very colorful. While there are colorless blanche absinthes, there are also many verte absinthes with wormwood in all shades of green that, upon aging, will turn to a yellow, orange or brown color (feuille morte). A very limited number of pink, red or rouge absinthes also exist.
Enjoying Absinthe with the Fascinating Absinthe Ritual
You may have already learned a lot about absinthe so now let’s have a look at the fascinating Absinthe Ritual. The absinthe ritual is a captivating aspect to explore once you’ve gained knowledge about absinthe alcohol. Discovering the traditional way of consuming absinthe can truly enhance the overall experience of this unique drink. This ritual, often referred to as the traditional, French, or Swiss absinthe ritual, holds its origins in Switzerland, the birthplace of absinthe. Let’s delve into the fascinating absinthe ritual and gain insight into the reasoning behind it. So, let’s raise our glasses and embark on a journey into the world of absinthe’s bitter charm.
First of all, you need to know that strong absinthe is always diluted with water, we don’t drink absinthe straight. It’s too strong, usually between 45 – 70% abv. (90 – 140 proof) and most aromas only develop when iced water is added! Also, we use an absinthe: water ratio of roughly 1:3, meaning one part absinthe, and three parts of water.
First you need to add about 3-4cl of absinthe into your absinthe glass. Then, you use an absinthe carafe or an absinthe fountain to slowly drip the ice-cold water into the absinthe, allowing it to turn cloudy (this color changing process is called louche) and develop aromas. Once you reach a ratio of 1:3, your absinthe drink is ready to be enjoyed.
While the absinthe ritual may seem elaborate, it serves a purpose beyond aesthetics. The addition of water and sugar helps to balance out the strong and bitter taste of absinthe, making it more palatable for those who may find the alcohol overwhelming on its own. It also allows the complex flavors and botanicals in absinthe to fully develop, providing a more well-rounded and enjoyable drinking experience.
Do You Need Sugar Cubes for Absinthe?
As many of you know, sugar is also an important part of your drinking ritual, no matter which one you choose. So should I go with sugar? And why is absinthe often portrayed as an absinthe spoon and sugar with a special hole drilled in it? When absinthe was popular in the 19th century, people had a sweet tooth. Back then, no one was afraid of low-carb or other modern diets. They just ate what they liked and enjoyed. Furthermore, absinthe is a potent drink, and sugar helps hide the high alcoholic content as well as the bitter flavor produced by the wormwood plant. All things considered, they used a lot more sugar than we do now to sweeten their absinthe drinks.
Drinking Absinthe Without Sugar
We recommend to drink absinthe without sugar and experienced absinthe drinkers regularly skip the sugar. They do it, since they need to appreciate the unadulterated drink without the disguise of sweetness.
There are also some very pleasant brands of absinthe, that are easier to drink without sugar due to the fact that they’re not so bitter. One of them is definitely Absinthe Innocent made in the Czech Republic with lower alcohol contents but still very pronounced taste and 35 mg of psychoactive thujone. If you’re new to absinthe, we strongly suggest you give this brand a try!
You may also say that with the lower alcoholic volume (proof) of a particular absinthe brand, the more you should try absinthe without any sugar. Additionally, whole range of Absinthe Original uses much less of anise (which gives the absinthe a sweet note), therefore if you don’t have a sweet tongue, it is definitely your choice No# 1!
Absinthe Makes a Great Base for Cocktails
Absinthe is not only delicious with water, but it also makes an excellent base for many cocktails, the most famous of which is the Death in the Afternoon or Sazerac, which was devised in the early nineteenth century by a New Orleans apothecary to fend off tropical malaise! We have a novel twist on a classic recipe called Long Island Iced Green Tea:
Make up as for a Long Island Iced tea but substitute 1/2 a measure of absinthe for the Tequila.
1 measure rum
1 measure triple sec
1 measure vodka
1 measure gin
1/2 measure absinthe
juice of 1 small lemon
Combine ingredients over ice, shake and serve in a tall glass over ice. Add a dash of coke and garnish with a lemon slice.
The absinthe ritual is a fascinating aspect of the absinthe drink that adds a touch of tradition and elegance to the whole absinthe experience. So, the next time you indulge in a glass of absinthe, consider embracing the time-honored absinthe ritual. Take pleasure in the process, savor the aroma, and relish the anticipation as the louche effect unfolds before your eyes. Immerse yourself in the rich history and tradition that surrounds this iconic drink, and let the absinthe ritual transport you to a bygone era of sophistication and allure.